Welcome to America, again

I am home in America, again. Yes, it feels like just yesterday that I was leaving, and now I am back. I had always planned for a second trip home this year, but much like my Christmas holidays turned out differently than expected, this holiday is different, too.

This is a “working” holiday, as it was always meant to be. And by working, I mean I will be alternating between my paid working hours and paid annual leave hours – and working on chores for Daddy for some of the paid leave time. (It’s OK: I planned my holidays specifically so that I could help with some projects around the house. That’s why I’m spreading my time out like this.)

As is tradition, I was met at the airport with a hug and a root beer.

The original plan had been to come home sometime in mid-June for about two months. I was going to use up my annual leave allowance whilst doing some gardening and household chores for the folks in between enjoying little road trips with them and visits with my friends and other family members. In fact, before she got sick, Mum and I spent time over the Christmas holidays planning the chores she wanted me to help with.

More tradition: Taco Time on arrival. Yum!

The sad twist in this “holiday as planned” is that I planned this “work and chores” holiday when Mum was still with us, and I was looking forward to some of the chores she had in store for me (I say chores, but some of them were/are fun projects). Now the holiday is part work, part chores, part “vacation”, and part funeral. (Oh, how it hurts to say that!)

I am looking forward to a long list of happy things during my holidays though. Indeed, I have already helped to celebrate my Godson’s 5th birthday (and helped him decorate his cake) and I am planning for my nephew’s high school graduation in a few days and several other wonderful family moments.

And even more tradition: Dad-strength coffee, the way God intended!

Ultimately, I don’t have a real plan for how I will spend my time, but there will be plenty of chores to fill my days – and loads of running, hiking, and cycling, too. There will also be a lot of reflection, as I’m sure to be very aware of my mother’s absence. But I will try my best to not let that sadness detract from the joy of spending the next few weeks with my father.

So, I am home in America, again. It’s going to be a strange holiday because my amazing mother isn’t here, but it’s going to be a good holiday, too. I will be sure to share a couple of stories during my trip and I’ll include a wrap-up at the end to remind myself of all the fun moments. Stay tuned for stories of my adventures…

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